Postexposure Prophylaxis Of Hepatitis B Virus Infection
HBV postexposure prophylaxis in certain individuals exposed to HBV or HBsAg-positive materials .
Depending on exposure circumstances, PEP regimen may include combined active immunization with HepB vaccine and passive immunization with HBIG to provide both short- and long-term protection.
PEP may be indicated in susceptible, unvaccinated health-care personnel following occupational exposure to blood and other body fluids that might contain HBV. If an occupational exposure to HBV occurs, review vaccination status and vaccine-response status of exposed individual and HBsAg status of source.
If exposed individual was not previously vaccinated against HBV, initiate HepB vaccine series as soon as possible . In addition, if source is found to be HBsAg-positive, give a dose of HBIG as soon as possible .
If exposed individual was previously vaccinated against HBV and is a known responder , PEP is not necessary. If exposed individual was previously vaccinated against HBV but is a known nonresponder , PEP is not necessary if source is HBsAg-negative. However, if source is HBsAg-positive or known to be high-risk for HBV, give exposed individual a dose of HBIG and initiate a second HepB vaccine series as soon as possible after exposure. A 2-dose regimen of HBIG is preferred in individuals who already previously failed to respond to a second vaccine series.
PEP not necessary in individuals previously infected with HBV such individuals are immune to reinfection.
What To Think About
If you are exposed to HBV before you have received all three shots in the vaccination series, a dose of hepatitis B immune globulin usually will prevent infection until the vaccine takes effect.
If you have already had hepatitis B and have developed protective antibodies to the virus, you do not need the vaccine because you have lifetime protection against the infection. If you are not sure whether you have had hepatitis B, you can be tested, or you can be vaccinated without testing. The vaccine is not harmful for you if you are already immune.
If you have chronic HBV infection, the vaccine will be ineffective, although it is not harmful.
The vaccine is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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Do The Benefits Of The Hepatitis B Vaccine Outweigh Its Risks
Every year in the United States about 2,000 people die following an overwhelming hepatitis B virus infection. In addition, every year about 22,000 people are infected with hepatitis B. Some of them will remain chronically infected, putting them at high risk of the long-term consequences of hepatitis B virus infection: cirrhosis and liver cancer. In fact, with the exception of influenza and COVID-19 viruses, hepatitis B virus causes more severe disease and death in the United States than any other vaccine-preventable disease. On the other hand, the hepatitis B vaccine is an extremely rare cause of a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. To date, no one has died from this reaction, but it is theoretically possible that this could occur.
Because hepatitis B virus is a common cause of severe disease and death in the United States, and because the hepatitis B vaccine does not cause permanent damage or death, the benefits of the hepatitis B vaccine clearly outweigh its risks.
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What Else Should I Know About Hepatitis B/hepatitis A Vaccine
What preparations of hepatitis B/hepatitis A vaccine are available?
- Hepatitis A/B vaccine is available as sterile, preservative-free, intramuscular injections.
- Hepatitis A/B vaccine injections are available in 1 ml single-dose vials and 1 ml single-dose pre-filled disposable syringes.
- Each 1 ml dose of vaccine contains 720 ELISA Units of inactivated Hepatitis A virus and 20 mcg of recombinant Hepatitis B antigen protein.
How should I keep hepatitis B/hepatitis A vaccine stored?
Store hepatitis A/B vaccine under refrigeration between 2 C and 8 C . Do not freeze hepatitis A/B vaccine vaccines and discard if they have been frozen.
Babies And Children Can Develop Chronic Hbv
You may be wondering why the recommendations for the HBV vaccine start on the first day of life.
Adults who contract HBV will likely not experience long-term complications from hepatitis B. But the same is not the case for babies. As many as of babies who contract an HBV infection at birth from their mothers become chronically infected with HBV.
Children between the ages of 1 and 5 who get an HBV infection have a 25 percent of people who become chronically infected during childhood will develop liver cancer or cirrhosis. Thats why pediatricians want children to have immunity from HBV from the earliest possible age. Many babies and children exposed to HBV receive post-exposure prophylaxis, which decreases chance of infection.
If youre pregnant, youll most likely have a blood test to see if youre positive for hepatitis B. This allows doctors to find out if theres a chance that you could pass on the virus. These tests are highly sensitive and have a good accuracy rate, but they arent perfect. Additionally, a pregnant person may become infected between the time of the test and giving birth. The first dose of the vaccine given at birth lowers the risk of a newborn baby contracting hepatitis B.
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Side Effects Of The Hepatitis B Vaccine
Like all medicines and vaccines, the hepatitis B injection can cause side effects, but most people do not experience any at all.
If you do experience hepatitis B vaccine side effects, they are very unlikely to be serious.
One in ten people experience common hepatitis B vaccine side effects. These include:
pins and needles
If you experience dizziness or drowsiness after the hepatitis B vaccine, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery until you feel better.
If your hepatitis B vaccine side effects do not improve, or they become worse, you should talk to your doctor.
Screen For Contraindications And Precautions
- Do not administer Heplisav-B to individuals with a history of severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of any hepatitis B vaccine or to any component of Heplisav-B, including yeast.
- Consult the package insert for precautions, warnings, and contraindications and Hepatitis B Vaccine Safety for additional information and possible side effects.
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Hepatitis A And B Vaccine Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.
You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.
You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection.
Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:
numbness, pain, tingling, weakness, burning or prickly feeling, vision or hearing problems, trouble breathing
red or blistering skin rash or
easy bruising or bleeding .
Common side effects of hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine may include:
redness or tenderness where the shot was given
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.
The Above Policy Is Based On The Following References:
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Accelerated Us Children And Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine Schedules
*Please note that the first dose should be given as soon as possible. Additional doses require minimum time intervals between doses in order for the vaccine to be effective.
In some instances, it may be necessary to vaccinate within a short period of time to ensure protection before travel. There are accelerated schedules to provide the highest level of protection over a short period of time. Individuals who need an accelerated schedule must have a booster dose at 1 year to ensure long-term protection. Note that the 2-dose Heplisav-B vaccine will also ensure maximum protection over a 1-month period without the need for a booster dose at 1 year.
4-Dose Vaccine Series for Children and Adults
Engerix-B is a 3-dose vaccine that can be given on an accelerated, four-dose schedule, with 3 shots administered within 2 months, and a booster dose at 1 year to provide maximum long-term protection.
4-Dose Combination Hepatitis A and B Vaccine Series
Twinrix is a 4-dose vaccine that can be given on an accelerated schedule to provide protection against hepatitis A and B. Three doses are administered within 1 month, followed by a booster shot at 1 year. This is a common choice of vaccine for those travelling on short-notice outside the U.S. It is important to complete the booster dose at 1 year, to ensure long-term protection.
2-Dose Vaccine Series
Additional Resource Links:
Is It Okay To Get An Extra Dose Of Hepatitis B Vaccine
Yes. Although extra doses of vaccine are not recommended, you can think of the extra dose as another chance for the immune system to see the hepatitis B virus. A vaccine is not the only time the immune system will see the virus or bacteria contained in it. People may be exposed to the virus or bacteria at school or the store or when visiting family or friends. An extra dose of vaccine is like one more exposure, except the difference is that the virus or bacteria in any vaccine has been made safe, so it wont make you ill.
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More Information On Side Effects
Reactions listed under âpossible side effectsâ or âadverse eventsâ on vaccine product information sheets may not all be directly linked to the vaccine. See Vaccine side effects and adverse reactions for more information on why this is the case.
If you are concerned about any reactions that occur after vaccination, consult your doctor. In the UK you can report suspected vaccine side effects to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency through the Yellow Card Scheme
Which Drugs Or Supplements Interact With Hepatitis B/hepatitis A Vaccine
: Hepatitis A/B vaccine vaccines should not be used with medications and therapies that suppress the immune system such as adalimumab , belimumab , cyclosporine , azathioprine , irradiation, and high doses of steroids because suppressing the immune system reduces the effectiveness of hepatitis A/B vaccine.
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What Is Hepatitis B Virus
Hepatitis B virus attacks the liver. Hepatitis B virus infections are known as the “silent epidemic” because many infected people don’t experience symptoms until decades later when they develop hepatitis , cirrhosis , or cancer of the liver . Every year in the United States about 22,000 new hepatitis B infections occur and about 2,000 people die from their infections.
A Look At Each Vaccine: Hepatitis B Vaccine
View larger image The hepatitis B vaccine is given to prevent the severe liver disease that can develop when children or adults are infected with hepatitis B virus. The hepatitis B vaccine is given as a series of three shots. The first dose is given within 24 hours of birth. The second dose is given one to two months after the first dose, and the third dose is given between 6 months and 18 months of age. The vaccine is also recommended for those up to 60 years of age who have not previously received it and those 60 years and older who are at increased risk or who simply want the protection afforded by vaccination.
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Selected Safety Information For Recombivax Hb
Do not administer RECOMBIVAX HB® to individuals with a history of severe allergic or hypersensitivity reactions after a previous dose of any hepatitis B-containing vaccine or to any component of RECOMBIVAX HB, including yeast.
The vial stopper and the syringe plunger stopper and tip cap contain dry natural latex rubber, which may cause allergic reactions in latex-sensitive individuals.
Apnea following intramuscular vaccination has been observed in some infants born prematurely. Decisions about when to administer an intramuscular vaccine, including RECOMBIVAX HB, to infants born prematurely should be based on consideration of the individual infants medical status and the potential benefits and possible risks of vaccination. For RECOMBIVAX HB, this assessment should include consideration of the mothers hepatitis B antigen status and high probability of maternal transmission of hepatitis B virus to infants born to mothers who are HBsAg positive if vaccination is delayed.
Hepatitis B vaccination should be delayed until 1 month of age or hospital discharge in infants weighing < 2000 g if the mother is documented to be HBsAg negative at the time of the infants birth. Infants weighing < 2000 g born to HBsAg positive or HBsAg unknown mothers should receive vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin in accordance with ACIP recommendations if HBsAg status cannot be determined.
Vaccination with RECOMBIVAX HB may not protect all individuals.
Concurrent Administration Of Vaccines
HB-containing vaccines may be administered concomitantly with other vaccines or with HBIg. Different injection sites and separate needles and syringes must be used for concurrent parenteral injections.
Refer to Timing of Vaccine Administration in Part 1 for additional information about concurrent administration of vaccines.
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How Common Is Hepatitis B
One U.S. study following trends in hepatitis B infection over a three-year periodfound that 4.3% of the population had a past or present HBV infection.
Estimates suggest that about 240 million people around the world have chronic hepatitis B. Up to 1.89 million people in the United States have a chronic HBV infection.
Hepatitis B Vaccination In Pregnancy
Hepatitis B infection in pregnant women may result in severe disease for the mother and chronic infection for the baby.
This is why the hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for pregnant women who are in a high-risk category.
Theres no evidence of any risk from vaccinating pregnant or breastfeeding women against hepatitis B.
And, as its an inactivated vaccine, the risk to the unborn baby is likely to be negligible .
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Indications For Hepatitis B Vaccine
HepB vaccine is a routine childhood vaccination .
HepB vaccine also is indicated for adults who have not been previously vaccinated when any of the following is present:
A desire for protection from hepatitis B in people who have not been previously vaccinated
A sexually active lifestyle in people who are not in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship
Need for evaluation or treatment of a sexually transmitted infection
Current or recent use of illicit injection drugs
Sex between men
Employment in which workers may be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious body fluids
Diabetes in people < 60 years and sometimes in those 60 years
End-stage renal disease
A chronic liver disorder
Household contact and/or sexual contact with people who are positive for hepatitis B surface antigen
Travel to endemic areas
Time spent in correctional facilities or in facilities that provide sexually transmitted infection treatment, HIV testing and treatment, drug abuse treatment and prevention services, services to injection-drug users or men who have sex with men, or care for patients with developmental disabilities or with end-stage renal disease
Pregnant women if at risk of infection or severe outcome resulting from infection during pregnancy
The combination HepA and HepB vaccine can be used in people 18 years who have indications for either hepatitis A or hepatitis B vaccine and who have not been previously vaccinated with one of the vaccine components.
Why Should I Vaccinate My Newborn Child If I Know That I Am Not Infected With Hepatitis B Virus
Before the hepatitis B vaccine, every year in the United States about 18,000 children were infected with hepatitis B virus by the time they were 10 years old. This statistic is especially important because people are much more likely to develop liver cancer or cirrhosis if they are infected early in life, rather than later in life .
About 9,000 of the 18,000 children infected in the first 10 years of life caught the virus from their mother during birth. However, many young children didn’t catch the disease from their mother. They caught it from either another family member or someone else who came in contact with the child. Because hepatitis B can be transmitted by relatively casual contact with items contaminated with the blood of an infected person, and because many people who are infected with hepatitis B virus don’t know that they have it, it is virtually impossible to be “careful enough” to avoid this infection.
For these reasons, all young children are recommended to receive the hepatitis B vaccine. The best time to receive the first dose is right after birth. This will ensure that the child will be protected as early as possible from catching hepatitis B from people who dont know that they are infected with the virus.
Listen to Dr. Offit explain why newborns get the hepatitis B vaccine by watching this short video, part of the series Talking About Vaccines with Dr. Paul Offit.
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